Evacuations, Closures Caused by Ivan

Published September 14, 2004

| Associated Press

Major aspects of preparations for Hurricane Ivan (search) along the Gulf of Mexico coast:

— Hurricane warning in effect Tuesday for about a 300-mile-long swath from Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle (search) to Grand Isle, La. A warning means hurricane conditions are expected soon and measures to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

— Death toll: At least 68: 15 in Jamaica, 39 in Grenada, five in Venezuela, one in Tobago, one in Barbados, four in the Dominican Republic and three in Haiti.

— Florida: Mandatory evacuations ordered in low-lying areas of Escambia and Bay counties. Walton and Okaloosa counties enacted evacuation plans for campgrounds, mobile homes and low-lying areas; Walton's was mandatory. Most Panhandle schools and colleges closed.

— Louisiana: New Orleans and suburban Jefferson Parish urged their 1 million residents to evacuate. Suburban St. Charles Parish, bordering Lake Pontchartrain, ordered its 49,000 residents to get out. Mandatory evacuation for low-lying areas of Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans. Schools closed throughout New Orleans metro area and traffic moved slowly on routes out of the area.

— Alabama: Gov. Bob Riley (search) ordered evacuation of coastal resort towns of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. Traffic brisk on Interstate 65, main route north from coast, as some people headed south with supplies including plywood and others drove north towing campers and boats. Schools closed in Baldwin County and some were turning into shelters.

— Mississippi: State closed 12 coastal casinos closed and ordered mandatory evacuation of coastal areas. Gov. Haley Barbour declared state of emergency Monday and activated National Guard. Officials readied shelters and closed schools. Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, a major shipbuilder for the Navy, closed its Pascagoula shipyard, which employs 12,000.

— Oil: Workers evacuated from drilling and production rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Companies also shut down some refineries.

— Shipping: Shipping companies voluntarily halted traffic on lower Mississippi River.

— Elections: Several south Alabama municipalities postponed runoff elections set for Tuesday. The Louisiana secretary of state's office continued preparations for Saturday's elections.

— Military: In Florida Panhandle, Air Force ordered everyone out of Hurlburt Field except essential crews, Pensacola Naval Air Station closed, Eglin Air Force Base ordered evacuations, and various bases were sending at least 275 aircraft to safer fields or into hangars.

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